The Pools of Flame and Tears
“The Pools” is merely another term for “the world”. There is nothing but the Pools, a series of caves in the earth with two most notable features, the Pools of Flame and the Pools of Tears. The entirety of the world is held between the two. Strong boundaries contain the world, as pools of Flame prevent any, even the kragons, from digging further fireway, and growing pools of water and Tears bar any from digging further waterway.
There is limited expansion in the other directions, where mines lie. Minotaurs and other races chip away at hard stone walls, uncovering new territory and excavating valuable resources. But the going is slow, and the stone rich in useful materials. Once a section of the mines is fully stripped, they may be converted into extra homes. Over many years, the Pools have seen little in the way of expansion, and the total population has remained mostly static. There simply are not enough food resources, nor space, to support any more than the few thousands who call the Pools home.
Some have taken to digging upward for expansion. Particularly Kapashen, a well-known Ashendent. He believed that Ashenda calls all to dig upward to reach heaven. He began a full scale operation of twisted tunnels and gentle slopes leading upward to heaven. He was heartened that, as the tunnels reached further and further upward, the Tears became more and more abundant, and he knew that he was getting closer and closer to his goddess. Soon, he would reach heaven. He and his workers were killed as the cave ceiling above them collapsed and water began erasing years of work, pouring down his twisted passages and filling large sections of the Pools that had never contained water before. These sections now are the largest of the Pools of Tears, and the largest source of fish. Since then, no one has dared dig significantly upward, for fear of angering the goddess, but many bless her for not only taking her devout follower, Kapashen, to heaven, but for rewarding those who remained with bounteous food.
None have dared dig earthward, as all that has been or would be uncovered is scorching magma.